Oh, wedding registries. Couples both love and fear the wedding registry. Love comes from the fact that you get to make a huge list of items you want to start your new life and home, and your friends and family generously purchase some of them for you. Fear comes from registering for too many things, for the wrong items, or the fact that you may end up with that weird butter dish you had to register for to get the cool extra gift, rather than the new coffee maker you have been lusting for. And taking the bar-code-scanning-thingy to use to your heart's content in Macy's is actually really fun, but quite time consuming!
But times, they are a-changing! Like nearly 90% of everything we do, registries can now easily be made through stores' websites. This actually can be quite handy if that perfect place-setting isn't available in your local store. And thanks to everyone's favorite website--that would be Amazon.com people--you can now build registries full of items from a wide variety of stores. You are no longer restricted to picking 2-3 stores.
Another great new trend revolves around the simplest gift of all: cold, hard cash. Card boxes seem to fill more easily than the gift table at weddings and gift cards are sometimes the easiest option to select (especially if you waited until the day before the wedding!). We know people think you need to take the time to pick out that personal, thoughtful, "this made me think of you!" gift, but that is a really hard thing to do! Luckily, cash is no longer viewed as the impersonal gift of choice.
So, let's combine both of those new trends--the internet and cash--and present to you what could be the end-all-be-all for wedding registries: Zola.com. This amazing little site (which is still in the start-up phases) allows you to do so many things:
Create the cutest little registry site with greetings and photos.
Add any gift from nearly anywhere: you can shop their featured items and brands or put direct links to items from any website. For other websites, Zola will pull all the relevant information and send the cash for that gift directly to you to purchase.
Barcode scanner. Miss the experience of finding items in store? Upload a pic of the bar code and Zola will upload the item for you.
Want a big ticket item? No problem. You can create "group gifts" meaning people can contribute any amount towards that item. Even if you don't get 100% of the money for the gift, Zola will still send you the funds.
Want people to contribute to your honeymoon or directly to the wedding? You can make different wedding categories or honeymoon experiences for people to contribute cash funds to. Similar to Paypal, there is a small processing fee, but you can give people the option to cover that fee for you.
One of our favorite things: experiences. Available in a few select cities (including Los Angeles!), guests can actually purchase curated experiences or services. Cool options include cooking classes for the couple, farmers market meal delivery service, CSA subscriptions, even cleaning/painting/handyman services!
Makes shipping super easy. The website allows you to decide when gifts should arrive (like after the honeymoon!), and how and when you transfer funds from the website into your own personal account. Another interesting option? You can convert cash gifts into credits to use for items in Zola's online store.
Gift tracking all in one place. Addresses are logged for anyone that purchases you gifts (including the group gifts), so thank you's are a breeze!
Pretty awesome, huh? We are sorting of wishing we could re-do the registry thing now... Happy shopping!